And boy did I ever.
That first night I opened every window and door in my room, welcoming her into my sleeping chambers. (I had the coolest roommate ever who totally indulged me but I'm pretty sure he was under her spell as well.)
That sexy voice of hers rousted me before dawn every morning and lured me through the misty woods to the hot spring baths that I shared with the setting full moon. While the Pacific Ocean roiled below, I floated, naked, in the warmth of her amniotic embrace until the sun rose and other guests drifted in.
Those are the baths tucked into the cliffs.
Photo: Jeff Rynders
The creek that giggled through the woods enchanted me out of my hike and into nymph mode. I found myself naked, laughing and splashing in her cool pools during my workshop’s mid-day break.
And the cypress trees (if you’ve been reading this blog you already know about me and trees) they were old and wise. Their branches beckoned me… ground yourself child…as I pressed first my hands, then my lips and then the entire front side of my body into the contours of their weathered gray trunks.
The outdoor swimming pool tugged playfully on my ponytail as I was heading to bed one evening. I think she was lonely since everyone else was at the hot baths. Never one to pass up a chance to skinny dip, I shed my clothes and dove in. The surf harmonized perfectly with the music of a lone guitar player on the other side of the hedge and their duet pulled me out of my breast stroke into a whirling dervish splash dance.
Last week had such a blissful, otherworldly quality, like that kind of dream that I don’t want to awaken from and someday won’t.
Heavenly? you might ask. Divine?
Yes, I’d say. Absolutely.
And sexy as hell.
Like any accomplished flirt, Esalen makes you work for it. You have to prove your mettle by being patient on hold for phone reservations, coordinating shuttle buses and laying down a chunk of cash for accommodations. But she’s worth every penny and will return your effort in spades…
...by cracking your heart wide open.
Photo: Danielle Price
Been to any sexy places this summer? Tell me about it in the comments.